Home Science The Moon was gone from the sky and now we finally know...

The Moon was gone from the sky and now we finally know why

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As we know, the Moon is the natural satellite of our Earth and, in addition, it is the fifth largest in the entire solar system. That has been registered, the Moon presents us with its presence every night, without exception.

Or maybe there was one… there are reports of a lunar eclipse that occurred sometime in 1110 that guarantee exceptional darkness for the Moon.

Moon


Sulfur Particle Cloud Fuze Research

About a millennium ago, a great convulsion occurred in the Earth's atmosphere. A huge cloud of sulfur-rich particles passed through the stratosphere, making the sky dark for months, or even years, before falling to Earth.

Then, scientists assumed that the sulfur deposit had been left by a major eruption triggered in 1104 by Iceland's Hekla volcano, also known as "Gateway to Hell".

A few years ago, a team analyzed the Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 chronology (GICC05) and realized that it is out of phase in seven years in the first millennium and even four in the next millennium. Therefore, according to new findings from the team led by paleoclimatologist Sébastien Guillet, from the University of Geneva in Switzerland, the volcano was not involved in the formation of the sulfur cloud.

In fact, we know of the occurrence of this sulfur cloud, because the researchers were able to drill and analyze ice cores. In other words, samples taken from the depths of the ice sheets or glaciers that preserved sulfur particles.

Furthermore, particles produced by volcanic eruptions that reached the stratosphere and later settled on Earth. This is because the ice can preserve evidence of volcanic activity for long (and surprising) periods of time.

However, identifying the exact date of events stored on the ice is still tricky.

Hekla volcano in Iceland

Hekla volcano in Iceland.

Moon: "As soon as the night came, it was completely extinct"

In order to investigate what may have been responsible, then, for the tracks found, the team sought historical documentation, such as medieval records of unusual lunar eclipses.

As revealed by NASA records, there were seven total lunar eclipses apparently observable in Europe, in the first 20 years of the last millennium, between 1100 and 1120. Of these, a witness says one occurred in May 1110 and described it as exceptional darkness from the moon.

On the fifth night of May, the Moon appeared to shine at night and then, little by little, its light decreased, so that, as soon as the night came, it was completely extinguished, neither the light, nor the orbit, nor nothing was seen.

The witness wrote in the Peterborough Chronicle.

Of course, after this discovery, many astronomers discussed the unusual, mysterious and dark lunar eclipse. Then, several centuries after its occurrence, the English astronomer Georges Frederick Chambers wrote:

It is evident that this [eclipse] it was an example of a black eclipse, when the moon becomes quite invisible instead of shining with the familiar coppery hue.

lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipse allegedly caused by Mount Asama

According to a new study, despite knowing the event well, astronomers never suggested that it could have been effectively caused by the presence of volcanic particles in the stratosphere. Although this is the most likely cause.

So, with the Hekla volcano out of the picture, the researchers worked to figure out what would be the volcano responsible for the sulfur cloud and the resulting lunar eclipse.

Although it is impossible to know exact data, the team believes that the most likely explanation is Japan's Mount Asama. This is because it produced a giant eruption lasting several months in 1108.

There was a fire at the top of the volcano: a thick layer of ash in the governor's garden, everywhere fields and rice fields are rendered unfit for cultivation. We have never seen this in the country. It is a very strange and rare thing.

Daily record of a politician reporting the 1108 eruption.

Mount Asama in Japan

Mount Asama in Japan.

In addition, the researchers analyzed tree rings that suggest that the year 1109 was exceptionally cold. Furthermore, there are historical reports of social and climatic impacts in the years after this 1108 eruption. In addition to confirming it, they report that it could have led to disastrous effects on the affected communities.

That said, the researchers believe that the data they have gathered can all suggest a set of forgotten volcanic eruptions from 1108 to 1110. Although they have triggered terrible consequences for humanity, they are only now being unraveled.

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